16 Feb 2007

Shot putter Valerie Vili named Halberg Sportswoman of the Year

10:52 am on 16 February 2007

Tongan New Zealand athlete Valerie Vili has taken out New Zealand's most prestigous Award, the Halberg Sportswoman of the Year.

This follows a stellar 12 months that included the shot putt gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March 2006.

But the 23-year-old Vili says September's World Cup in Athens is also a highlight.

"Commonwealth gold was the highlight of the year obviously because it was such a big deal for New Zealand, but winning the World Cup as well was awesome because you get the best from each continent of the world, and for Oceania to win there was just amazing and felt so privileged to have done that for us."

But it was the champion rower, Mahe Drysdale that took out the overall New Zealand Supreme Sports Award to go along with his Sportsman of the Year Award.

Other recipients included the All Blacks for Team of the Year, and Graham Henry picked up the Coach of the Year Award.